Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Run for L'Arche: winter training tips

The first week of training is currently under way for me and we've been lucky so far in Calgary to have warmer weather. While the nice weather is fantastic, it unfortunately won't be sticking around for long. As the race takes place on March 23, 2013, that means training in the middle of winter. Here are some of my tips for surviving the winter training runs:

1. Invest in a good pair of trail shoes or traction aids for your shoes
 Last weekend, I was at Costco and noticed that they were selling traction aids for your shoes for only $12.99. I figured it wouldn't hurt to try them for that price, and they did not disappoint! I used them for my run last weekend, and it was so nice to have a grip on the snowy pathways instead of feeling like I was moving no where with every step. Another option would be a good pair of trail shoes that have lots of grip. The traction aids are definitely a cheaper option.

2. Layer, layer, layer
As the temperature drops, it is important to dress for the weather. Wearing the right things for the weather mean you will be warm on your run and won't be focused on how cold it really is! Pieces that I would recommend buying:
  • Winter running tights: I have this pair of MEC and definitely recommend them for the price
  •  A base layer: I actually borrow one from Mr.D, but it's similar to this one. Might have to buy it for myself! It's important that your base layer is not cotton because cotton will just collect the sweat and not wick it away from your body making you colder.
  • Outerwear: I have a jacket from North Face that my mom bought me a couple years ago, and is perfect for running in the winter. It allows me to wear layers under it and keeps the wind out.
  • Head and hands: It is also very important to keep your hands, head and ears covered in the colder months. I have a hat and gloves from Running Room that were both under $25, that I would recommend. I would also recommend a balaclava for the really windy and cold days.
3. Be okay to readjust your training plan
For the really cold days, it is not the smartest to spend three plus hours in the cold to get your kilometeres in. Instead of spending the whole time outside, why not cut your run in half and finish the second part either on a track or on a treadmill? Neither of those options are close to running outside, but it will mean that you will be warm and not in the cold. 

4. Find a friend
When the temperature drops, it's easy for your motivation to dwindle to get out the door and run. Making plans with a friend means you are less likely to ditch out on the run if you know they are waiting for you. Plus talking through the run will make it go by quicker.

Tell me: what are your tips for running in winter?


  1. I hated those winter running grip things! I am not sure why but tried them a few times and tossed them, I would rather slip and slide around I guess ;)
    I agree - invest in goor outdoor winter running wear. Nothing is worse than being cold outside and a ways from home.

  2. Good tips! :) I still hate running outside. I am a no snow and ice runner. :) And a brat I know. My running buddy Cruz will run anytime though!

  3. My tip would be to curl up on the couch, haha. I'm totally a fair weather runner. I usually wait until spring :-/

  4. These are really good tips! I have been LOVING running in fresh snowfalls this winter. Luckily it never gets *too* cold here so I can run outside all winter long. My long run in -13 C was pretty chilly last weekend though!

  5. Haha run inside... I head to the indoor running track at UofC. But now that it's warming back up a bit, I might get back on the sidewalks.... will consider the running grips!

  6. I'm a wimp so I hibernate with a treadmill.

  7. My tip is to not be a wimp like me. ;) Ha. I have been a total baby about outdoor running have only ran outdoors twice since December 1st!! I have been hitting the dreadmill for 4 miles runs which isn't great but is better than nothing! You have great tips here, though!

  8. Great post! I bought the grippy things from Costco- should have used them tonight since I slipped on the ice and fell. Why can't people shovel and de-ice their sidewalks?

    Having a runner partner definitely makes the time go by faster on the long runs.

  9. Good tips! If it's really cold, it can be a good idea to warm up inside. Then toss the warm gear on and go. I find I cut down on warm ups if I do them outside because I want to get running and warm.



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